Lara Daniel & Chris Kastenholz: 2 CEOs who changed marketing forever
4 Global Offices.
125+ Pulse People.
Official partners of Instagram, TikTok, Google, and Snap. Industry pioneers. Forbes 30 Under 30 winners. TEDx Talk givers. Record breakers.
MINI, Estée Lauder, Bumble, Formula E, PUMA. Industry leaders trust us.
We caught up with Lara & Chris over an early morning cup of coffee to ask them 6 questions about the learnings, habits and drive that helped build these 6 years of Pulse Advertising.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
Lara: For me, it was the MAC Cosmetics #YouOwnIt campaign run during New York Fashion Week last year. Not everyone knows this, but Chris and I started out in fashion before we founded Pulse Advertising. A great product in combination with an amazing campaign run by our team meant that we achieved a record breaking 2.7 billion views on TikTok. That was a moment that really stays with me.
Chris: I'm proud of the way we handled COVID-19 as a team. This pandemic will accelerate the shift towards digital advertising in the mid-term, but in the short-term advertising budgets were cut significantly. This challenge required all hands on deck and brought us closer together than ever. We have come through these months safe and productive, completed pro bono work, and are now hiring for further growth!
What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur just starting out?
Chris: Persistence. It can sometimes feel like you’re constantly hitting your head against a wall. You need to be “all in” to succeed, to break down that wall and pave a new way. That won’t work if giving up is an option.
Lara: And you need to love what you do. You need to be passionate, to have a real fire within you to keep you going. Success doesn’t come easy, and you need that deep love for your business to get you through.
What’s your most productive time of the day?
Chris: Morning for sure, before everyone else is up and about, and you can take some time for yourself — to think, plan, strategise — before the noise of the day crowds in.
Lara: I think morning too… but… I also like to sleep in sometimes. Does that still make me a morning person? I think it does! In general I believe in following what feels healthy for you. Follow those moments of inspiration whenever and wherever they occur.
Window or aisle seat on a plane?
Lara: Window! I can be a bit of a jumpy flyer, so I need to be able to see what’s going on. If I can see the clouds gathering and that the weather isn’t great, I can handle turbulence so much better. I see it as an off-road experience!
Chris: Aisle… I don’t like the more confined feeling of the window.
What’s your funniest Pulse memory?
Chris: Oh, I can answer this one for sure!
Lara: Oh no! I know where this is going…
Chris: It was early on in Pulse’s history, and Lara was meeting a new client who produces smoothies. It was a very hot summer’s day, and there was a boardroom full of the marketing team and executives. A bee drifts in from outside, and lands directly in Lara’s smoothie…
Lara: It’s ok, I thought, to myself, I can handle this. There was a lid, so I neatly screwed it back into place — trapping the bee — and I gave myself a mental high five for staying cool. The meeting progressed, and we started talking about all these delicious flavours, great ingredients, fresh taste etc. It was such a hot day, like Chris said, so I thought to myself “I’ll go ahead and try it.” I took a large gulp, and then I remembered…. the bee!
Chris: Instinct takes over, and she spits it out. All. Over. The. Table.
Lara: Hey, it wasn’t that bad! But yes, it was deeply embarrassing. I went so red. Luckily everyone was very kind and they even found it funny, so it ended up being a real bonding moment. It was the start of a great client relationship. But here’s some free advice: always check your drinks!
And finally, what’s one thing that people don’t know about you?
Lara: I am seriously addicted to Apple Sauce! There is nothing I think it doesn’t go with… Fish? Absolutely! Pasta? 3 spoons please.
Chris: When we founded the New York office, I honestly hadn’t been there before that day. People always assume we were really well-travelled, but in those early days I hadn’t been to as many places and that was genuinely my first time in New York City! Sometimes you just have to trust your gut and go ahead with something that you don’t know in depth yet!